Have you ever had cabbage rolls? Me neither. I’ve wanted to try them for so long but never took the time to make them. I don’t even know how long they would take. I assume it isn’t a quick dish to make though.
So, when I came across this recipe for Lazy Cabbage Rolls on Pinterest I was intrigued. Lazy usually means quick and easy, right? Maybe I’ll quit being lazy myself and make these cabbage rolls. I pinned it to my Possible Upcoming Meals board and there it sat…for weeks. It might have even been there 2 or 3 months. I honestly don’t remember when I pinned it.
Last week I decided it was time and I added the ingredients to my grocery list. However, the grocery shopping never happened. Funny story, I was at WM doing my weekly shopping when my sister called to invite me to join her and Mom for dinner. At first I turned her down but she convinced me put away my groceries and meet them at Texas Roadhouse. She has power over me I tell you. lol
Luckily I had just started and only had a few items in my cart. But it did kinda throw me off the rest of the week because I never made it back to the grocery store. Which means no lazy cabbage rolls. Then I started Weight Watchers and I was worried that the recipe would be too many points. It’s not!
Each cabbage roll is only 4 points and they aren’t little. I was concerned about that. I guess had I reread the recipe though I would have realized that each roll or meatball is 1/2 cup in size. That’s a pretty decent sized meatball. And you can easily eat two of them, maybe even 3, and still be doing good point wise.
This is how you make them:
First off, don’t do as I did. Make sure your rice is precooked and is cooled or cooling. It’s supposed to be room temperature when you use it. Mine wasn’t but it wasn’t hot. You want to be able to touch it comfortably and you don’t want it to start cooking the meat and/or eggs when mixing everything together.
Got your rice cooked? Great. Now slice up your cabbage. I’ll admit when I was slicing I was like there is no way this is going to be 7 cups. I even started questioning the size of my cabbage head. The recipe said to get a medium one. I thought I did but maybe mine would be considered small. Don’t doubt yourself. Once you separate out your slices you will be surprised at how much is there. I didn’t measure mine but in the end I’m sure it was close to 7 cups.
Cover with boiling water and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. The cabbage is supposed to soften in this stage and it does. But not quite as much as I was expecting it to. After draining, I also gave it another chop. I think next time I’ll make sure the pieces are much smaller. My meatballs turned out well but they felt a little loose. They didn’t hold together quite as much as I had hoped they would.
Now mix together your turkey (I used all turkey whereas the recipe calls for turkey and pork), rice, cabbage, eggs, grated onion, chopped parsley and seasonings.
Time to form your meatballs aka cabbage rolls. Each one is 1/2 cup in size and I actually measured them all out. This recipe makes a lot. I got a total of 18. The final one was just slightly larger than the others but not by much. Place in a pan prepared with Pam. I couldn’t get mine to all fit in one pan. Honestly I don’t think you can.
Time to prepare your sauce. It’s easy. Very easy. Chop up the other half of your onion and saute in some EVOO and some butter. I don’t usually cook with butter and may omit this the next time around. Grate your carrot and add to the onion. Continue to saute for a few minutes.
Add 2 cups marinara sauce and 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Pour over your cabbage rolls.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. When they come out of the oven, you’ll see that they plump up quite a bit.
As mentioned before, each cabbage roll is 4 points. I decided to have two rolls and a mixed greens salad with Lite Italian dressing as my side. Total – 9 points.
Although I think 4 points per cabbage roll is good, I thought I would see how I can make it better. I thought if you substituted brown rice for the white rice that you would see an impact. You do but not in the way I had hoped. It actually makes the point value increase. No Bueno. However, if you lower down the butter to only 1 Tbsp (this way you can still have some of the flavor) you will lower the point value of each cabbage roll by 1. The point value is the same whether it is 1 Tbsp or if you leave the butter out all together. So, it’s your choice which way you want to go. I tried one other thing but no luck. I thought if you only used 3 cups of cooked rice instead of 4 that it would also have a positive impact. Though I’m sure it does, it’s not enough to change the point value. =(
Here’s the recipe:
Lazy Cabbage Rolls
4 points per cabbage roll including sauce
- 4 cups cooked white rice (1 1/2 cups uncooked)
- 1/2 medium cabbage, sliced
- 2 lbs ground turkey (the leanest you can find, I used 90/10)
- 1 yellow onion (1/2 grated in meat mixture, 1/2 chopped for sauce)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash (1 tsp for rolls and 1/4 tsp for sauce)
- 2 1/4 tsps salt (2 tsps for rolls and 1/4 tsp for sauce)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp EVOO
- 3 Tbsp light butter (or leave it out, your choice!)
- 1 carrot (grated)
- 2 cups marinara (store bought or homemade, either is fine)
- 3 cups water
- Slice/chop cabbage. I sliced mine in to 1/4 ” strips this time but next time I will chop the cabbage in to smaller bits. Pour boiling water over the cabbage, enough so that it’s covered. Soak for at least 10 minutes. When cabbage is soft, drain and squeeze any excess water out.
- Mix turkey, rice, cabbage, eggs, onion, parsley and seasonings together. If your cabbage pieces are smaller they will mix together better. If they are not, it’s ok. Your cabbage rolls will still turn out. Mine did.
- It’s time to form the rolls. Measure out 1/2 cup of the meat mixture and roll in to a ball. Place in prepped casserole dish. This recipe makes a lot of cabbage rolls so you may need two dishes.
- Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Saute chopped onion in EVOO and butter. (Reminder if you lower the butter down to 1 Tbsp or leave it out, the cabbage rolls will then only be 3 points each rather than 4. I haven’t tried this yet but I doubt it will affect the sauce that much.) After a few minutes add the grated carrot.
- Once the onion and carrot are soft, add the marinara sauce, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil then pour over the cabbage rolls.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Serve with a side salad.
I hope you all enjoy these. If you make them please do share with me. I’d love to see your pictures!